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Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom | [Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius]

Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom

Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of contemplative practice, you, too, can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom.
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Publisher's Summary

The Buddha and other great teachers were born with brains built essentially like anyone else’s - and then they changed their brains in ways that changed the world.

Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of contemplative practice, you, too, can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom.

Buddha’s Brain draws on the latest research to show how to stimulate and strengthen your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth. You’ll learn how to activate the brain states of calm, joy, and compassion instead of worry, sorrow, and anger. This clear, down-to-earth book is filled with practical tools and skills that you can use in daily life to tap the unused potential of your brain and rewire it over time for greater well-being and peace of mind.

©2009 Rick Hanson (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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3.9 (286 )
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  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 12-01-10
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 12-01-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Neurophysiological Explanation"

    In Buddha's Brain, Hanson and Mendius relate the emerging knowledge of neurological science to the teachings of the Buddha. Audible makes a number of very good books available on neurophysiology and neuroplasticity and this is a welcome addition to that group. It is helpful and provides ample insights to perhaps make it worth the listener’s time. Unfortunately, for me at least, the approach was too superficial to be helpful. The book sheds a little light on the teachings of the Buddha, a little understanding into how we can relax and the neurological response, and a little insight into what this all means neurophysiologically. The result, personally, was a superficial presentation of all these topics. If you are interested in a contemporary interpretation of Buddhist practice, this book could be informative. If you are interested in where current scientific inquiry is leading us in brain science, there are other books you might seek out first from Audible. The book is well organized and written. The narration of Alan Jones is very good.

    37 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-22-11 Member Since 2009

    mspotato

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator ruins it. Get the book, not the audio."

    I'm famiilar with Rick Hanson and admire his work very much. I recently attended his all-day seminar on the Science of Well-Being, and he's a great speaker. Sadly, Rick Hanson did not narrate his own audio book. Instead, the book is narrated by a man who doesn't seem to understand anything about the subject matter, and who presents the material in the most bland, stiff and least engaging way possible. Very unlike the real author who is a great speaker. Therefore, I am very disappointed by the audio book version of Buddha's Brain. I wish I had gotten the regular print version instead.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LORNE COQUITLAM, British Columbia, Canada 10-22-11
    LORNE COQUITLAM, British Columbia, Canada 10-22-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Monotone reading of book"

    Book is good but should have been read by author.
    Lacks emotion/passion necessary to hold my attention while listening.
    Bland and monotone.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark twain Austin, TX, United States 02-01-13
    Mark twain Austin, TX, United States 02-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hellllooooo? Is a robot narrating this??"

    I was really looking forward to listening to this book, as I really like Rick Hanson's work and what he has to offer. Unfortunately, the narrator of this book is an unbelievable bore; he reads the book in a way that makes it almost impossible for the listener(me) to become (and stay) engaged. Who chose this robot, I mean guy, to read???

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Working Poor 11-23-10

    JD

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A decent "listen" ... I enjoyed it."

    This was a very refreshing and palatable "listen". Which was a great suprise, as they cover quite a bit of useful material, effortlessly. You will listen to this more than once.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Read Eyed St. Louis, MO USA 03-16-11
    Read Eyed St. Louis, MO USA 03-16-11 Member Since 2002

    Read Eyed

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    "Best listened to @ 2x speed"

    The content requires little deep thought or processing and is presented in a very gradual fashion. The narrator stretches a 2 hour read into a 6 plus hour listen. If you value your time listen @ 2x speed.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maya Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia 01-24-11
    Maya Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia 01-24-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Good content, boring narrator"

    I like the content, it's good. However, the narrator's voice cannot hold my attention.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 10-13-13
    Kathi 10-13-13 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get the book & CDs instead"

    This book is purely wonderful. It is filled with cutting edge information about the brain and studies that show how meditation changes the brain in positive ways. I have read the (paper) book several times. I have also listened to the original CDs that came out to accompany the book, which were read by the authors. The book and CDs are among the most treasured books/CDs in my collection. Learning ways to calm oneself through specific techniques that not only give short term, but also long term relief and happiness is a powerful experience.

    However, for reasons I can not possibly imagine, something happened between the CDs coming out (read by authors) and the audible version--read by a different narrator. It may not matter to someone who has never heard the originals before, but I love especially to listen to Rick Hanson--and it is too jarring to have to listen to a different person narrate this. (To my ear, it is read too rapidly and too flatly). The material is great--but not this narration. (Or not to someone who has listened to the authors themselves). If this is your first exposure to this book and authors, it might not matter, but it did to me, since I am long familiar with the voices of the authors themselves, and it seemed a sad switch.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Washington, DC, United States 02-25-11
    Melanie Washington, DC, United States 02-25-11 Member Since 2005
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    "First Half Great, Second Half Not as Much"

    I thought the first half of the book that explains the neurophysiology of emotions was well-done and very helpful, particularly from the meditators point of view. The second half of the book seemed to have way more meditation instructions (which I've seen explained better elsewhere) which diffused the understanding of what's going on in the brain. And frankly, the narrator got hard to listen to over time. I found myself not being as mindful to listening to the book as I had intended.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Rode 12-01-14
    Peter Rode 12-01-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Get the printed book instead"
    Would you try another book from Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius and/or Alan Bomar Jones?

    I'd consider additional books authored by Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius. I would be very careful though before considering another narration by Alan Bomar Jones.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator's performance for this this book destroyed the message. I found it to be monotone, difficult to keep track of where we were in the progression of the content. Most telling, was that I read the printed book after listening to the audiobook, and it was a fresh experience, with most content appearing to be completely unfamiliar. That never happened before with better narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 27 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Adisha Kariyawasam
    United Kingdom
    1/16/12
    Overall
    "Nutritious food for the mind"

    This is an outstanding audio book. I have have listened to this many times and on each occassion always draw something new from it that can be internalised and applied to my daily life.

    The meditation techniques on compassion and loving kindness are well explained. Many of these techniques can be applied to your family and working life, developing compassion towards others and yourself.

    We are reminded that it is human nature to harbour negative thoughts, like velcro and resist positive thoughts like Teflon. The trick is to turn this negative bias on its head and practice the very opposite - not easy to do! The greatest challenge though, as many listeners may no doubt find, is developing the ability to forgive. This book shows you how and why.

    A great listening experience!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Paul the Shrink
    Kelso, United Kingdom
    6/27/14
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    "Ancient wisdom meets cutting edge neuroscience"
    Any additional comments?

    As a consultant psychiatrist with a personal interest in meditation and aspects of spirituality - especially Buddhism, I found this book very helpful on several levels. It makes current research on brain functioning understandable and accessible. It also acted - at a low key level - as a reminder of various aspects of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. But if that sounds daunting and off putting - don't be. Those aspects of the book are not essential, and can easily be "glossed over".

    The core of the book is a very practical and manageable approach to how to start a programme of self development that could make a real difference in the lives of any of us. It provides really simple exercises and ideas that if followed would undoubtedly make life more fulfilling and positive for any of us irrespective of any religious or philosophical beliefs we may have. The hard bit of course - like any exercises - is practicing them consistently over time until the benefits are experienced.

    Whilst this book is new to me (obviously), I am very aware of the need to look on the work of self improvement as something to work on consistently over time - ultimately of course over a lifetime. Something as important and worthwhile as feeling better about myself is not something that will happen overnight. The great thing about this book is that it gives a different (not necessarily "correct") angle on the practical and scientific aspects of that great task.

    This is undoubtedly a book to read over and over again. I also think it would be worth having in print format to allow the material another "channel" through which to be absorbed.

    So, go on - read it - do it! The world will be happier for it if you do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. Dickson
    Scotland
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "practical advice for being happier"

    I liked the link between the science and the buddhist practice. I found the narrator's gravelly american accent a bit grating though his intonations helped with getting the authors intended message.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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